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Re: begging behaviour among theropods



HP Pickering remarked:
<"Bird" is a vernacular word, and, however popular throughout the centuries,
its
scientific definition is inseparable from Theropoda within Dinosauria, a
case
proven well over a decade ago. I still delight in Tom Holtz's description of
them being "stump-tailed swell-brained flying theropods"...and, when you say
"birds", your word remains nebulous (everyone may think they know what a
"bird" is, but trying sitting down with a piece of paper and pen and
defining
the word).>

My favorite "bird" definition comes from a list member whose expertise I
acknowledge and with whom I enjoy disputing even when he's invincibly wrong.
I paraphrase slightly:
'A bird is a feathered thug who craps on my car.'
The non-volant varieties would have to choose a scooter or other low slung
vehicle to prove their taxonomic position, but bracketing makes that talent
likely.
Interestingly, though "bird"'s acceptability as a useful term is being
asserted now, my (among many others') contention that "birds" are different
enough from dinosaurs to be on a par with mammals, reptiles, dinosaurs,
amphibians, insects, etc. has been rejected by a number of people here.
As a whilom English major, I can understand close attention, even dispute
about words.  I just can't understand why anyone would disagree with me.